Years ago at a girl dinner a group of my girlfriends and I were discussing the important things we want in men we date. My friend Tammy was advocating for everyone to create a list of characteristics, values, qualities, etc. – she had created one and she thought it was helpful. I personally thought it was silly – a list really? Unfortunately, since I was the only other single person at the table and Tammy already had a list, the list that was created that evening was for me. My list…THE LIST….was created on a seemingly humble cocktail napkin – scribed by my friend Ruth Ann. It was promulgated through a few drinks, much discussion and many laughs. THE LIST sat in the bottom of one of my dresser drawers for years. Truth be told, I never put much stock in it.

I went to look at THE LIST the other day – more as a point of reminiscence than anything else and it was gone. Not sure where it went or when as it truly has been a few years since I have looked at it (it was created a good six or more years ago). Not sure if there was any treachery involved in the disappearance of THE LIST or if it was merely a victim of someone not paying full attention to the value of a old folded cocktail napkin. In the end, the reason for the disappearance is less relevant than the fact that it is gone.

I was a tish disappointed that THE LIST had disappeared.  As a single person again I was thinking that perhaps the whole list concept may have some utility.  Fortunately, THE LIST arose out of my wish list, so reproducing it should not be a challenge. I don’t believe that any of the things that I am ideally looking for have changed dramatically over the years since the the creation of THE LIST. The new forty finds my mind and heart in about the same place as the old forty did.

Unfortunately, after the creation of THE LIST I never actually used it. I assumed that I knew what I wanted – hence my ability to create the list – and I would know it when I saw it. Alas, that is not the case. In the heat of the mating ritual things get turned around and re-ranked to accomodate the excitement of the moment…the mental list gets re-ordered based on the boy de jour.

So, I must confess at this juncture that Tammy was right – an actual printed list is valuable. A list that, while flexible, is not malleable…a list that cannot be mentally reordered at will because the boy de jour has a great body or a yacht or donates millions annually to charity…a list that reminds me in perpetuity what I really am looking for in a partner (and for my regular blog readers: partner is not synonymous with husband – just saying).

To my best recall I will recreate the THE LIST here where it will live on in perpetuity in cyberspace…never again to be relegated to the bottom of a dresser drawer…never again will I have an excuse for not honoring the importance of THE LIST.

In order of relative importance:

1. Humor

I need laughter in my life…that requires someone who can laugh at themselves and all the silly things that happen in day to day life…someone who understands that laughter is freeing.

2. Integrity

Being honest, genuine, true and consistent in word and deed – that is HUGE with me. As I get older (and some might say more jaded) this has become more and more important to me.

3. Confidence

I have said it before and I will say it again, well-placed confidence is crazy sexy. To me this type of confidence shows that someone knows themself and is not afraid to value themself.

4. Intelligence

Not a Rhodes Scholar, but someone who is at the least apprised of current events, can hold an in-depth conversation and can debate an issue with logical reasoning not just emotion and hyperbole.

5. Gets me

I think I am what would be most easily described as a “steel magnolia”. I can be strong when I need to be, but still quite fragile ultimately. To know me is to know that I can suck-it-up when needed, but that scars remain on my psyche.

6. Attractive

Yes, I acknowledge that in this area I may be a bit shallow – I need to feel a physical attraction to a person. Yet describing attractive as it is embodied in my mind’s eye…well, that is a bit difficult to capture. The person must be at least relatively fit and care for their body (I have an enduring appreciation for muscle tone even as I slide into the new forty – not much else is sexier than a healthy, fit body) and beyond that I look for a certain je ne sais quoi that hits me in a way that I find irresistible. I think this can come in many forms and I can say to a moral certainty that I have no specific “type” I look for, but one thing is for sure, I know it when I see it.

So there you have it – THE LIST. Only six simple things required. So, should you catch me going out with anyone seemingly because they have a nice yacht (I am too old to date someone for their car anymore), be sure and ask me how he scored on THE LIST…but, hey…you could wait until we get back to the dock.  😉

Day three hundred and ten of the new forty – obla di obla da


5 Responses

  1. Tam

    Thanks for reminding me of the great friends and memories we had while I was in Fargo! THE LIST will serve you well my friend…even if it was just a cocktail scribble at the time….although, I have to admit, #6 is a bit higher on my list =)

  2. Rich

    …be sure you asked me how he scored on the list.
    Do you grade on a curve?
    Is it possible to retake a test?
    Is S/U grading possible?
    What are extra credit possibilities?
    Do you mind if I have a tutor? 🙂 🙂 🙂

  3. Miss Amy

    I have a list too! Only mine is a full 8.5″ x 11″ piece of paper long! I will send it to you in an email.

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